As the drought continues to affect California from major metropolitan cities to rural towns, the Governor’s Interagency Drought Task Force (DTF) met in Hemet yesterday with tribal, city, county, legislative and federal officials from the Inland Empire to talk about the effect of the drought in the area.
The meeting took place at the Western Science Center in Hemet, which sits right next to Diamond Valley Lake. The Western Science Center is home to archaeological fossils and artifacts dating back to the Pleistocene Ice Age that were discovered during the construction of the reservoir. As a man-made reservoir, Diamond Valley Lake is designed to provide a six month supply of water to meet the emergency and drought needs to the area. The effect of the drought is evident as the reservoir is currently operating at 40% capacity.
The DTF representatives that attended the meeting were State Water Resources Control Board Vice-Chair Fran Spivy-Weber, California Department of Water Resources Deputy Director of Statewide Emergency Preparedness Bill Croyle, California Department of Food and Agriculture Undersecretary Jim Houston and California Energy Commission Executive Director Rob Oglesby.
Twenty-seven counties have declared local emergency proclamations due to drought conditions including the Southern California counties of Kern, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara. A total of 33 counties have also established their own drought task forces to coordinate local responses.
Cal OES is the emergency services coordination agency for the state and has been working closely with local emergency managers throughout the state as they continue to address the drought.